- Baking powder, expiration date March 2013
- Baking soda, expiration date July 2014
- Flour, best used by (oops! it’s smudged)
- Espresso powder, use by 2009
It’s time to start thinking about the holidays. (Egad! I am so not ready!)
Entertain in? Invited out? How many people for Thanksgiving? Drop in visitors?
How much food to have on hand? What kind of food? How can we make it healthy? Does it need to be healthy?
My days of baking lots of cookies and pastries are long gone. We don’t eat many sweets but you need to have some around or it’s not the holidays. (That’s written in some book somewhere probably by my Mom!)
For the past several years I make two kinds of pastries. Both are good and fairly easy. They also freeze well. They make good gifts and great desserts.
My brother (a really great baker) also makes some cookies and we swap. Makes life easier.
So what’s the big deal?
Two things. With an infrequent baking schedule, the supplies get old and out of date. I also forget how to make them so I need to pull out my stained recipes and I don’t remember where I put them.
I take an inventory of everything — the salt supply, extra flour, all kinds of sugar, absolutely everything I need including pans. (Did you know that baking pans can rust from not being used? It’s their version of wrinkles.)
I hate running to the store with white stuff in my hair and sticky spots on my clothes. I do it at least once during every baking session despite my fabulous inventory skills.
A look in my drawers (kitchen drawers that is) is always a trip down memory lane. That old instant espresso was used in a mocha icing for a fabulous chocolate cake that I don’t make anymore. (Should I make that this year? If so put new espresso powder on the list)
Many of the recipes are from my mother and her mother or Ina Garten or Good Housekeeping.
Remember when you cut out recipes from food boxes and flour bags and magazines? I never tried them but I filled up a box with cut-out recipes. (I should have sold them on eBay.)
I started using Saigon cinnamon many years ago when I noticed that it had more kick. Same is true of real nutmeg seed. You have to update your spices because they don’t age any better than people do. (Only cheese and wine age well.)
There are a few spices that I use regularly but most I replace when the jar says so.
It’s that time of the year. Out with the old, in with the new – at least in the kitchen cupboards!
Maybe it’s time for a practice session just to taste but first I have to finish my inventory.